13 LA businesses Angelenos wants to raise from the dead – Time Out | Ad On Picture

The sustained pace of openings in Los Angeles means there’s always something new to explore — but that also inevitably means we’re witnessing the loss of some of our favorite hangouts, whether they’ve closed on their own terms or against their will.

With that in mind, we reached out to our readers and asked this hypothetical question on our Instagram: If you could bring one business back to LA, which one would you do? Responses included categories, neighborhoods, and eras. Some spots have been closed during the pandemic, others closed years ago. Some were decades-old institutions that influenced generations of Angelenos, and others were short-lived but no less popular.

Regardless of the circumstances of their passing, these are the restaurants, bars, museums and music venues our readers would like to bring back, with a few words explaining each choice.

Koo Koo Roo

Named after the sound of a crowing rooster, this LA-born chain specializes in their skinless, grilled chicken — a relatively healthy option in the fast-food landscape. After rapid expansion in the early ’90s, the number of locations began to dwindle, and to stay afloat Koo Koo Roo once bought both Color Me Mine and the now-defunct local chain Hamburger Hamlet; finally, the last Santa Monica location closed in 2014.

“I would love to see Koo Koo Roo come back as their mac and cheese and grilled chicken were just the best! Even as a young picky eater, I would look forward to my family and I eating there.” @hernameiscayla

Harry’s oil can

A bit country, this Studio City gay bar specializes in line dancing downstairs and stellar karaoke in the loft upstairs. Oil Can Harry’s opened in 1968; It was a hot spot during the disco era and hosted many fundraisers during the AIDS epidemic. Although the mustachioed mascot said goodbye in early 2021 after the building was sold, the city has since recognized the site as an official historical-cultural monument.

“It was the most chilled LGBT queer space in LA and the disco nights were the best! Just a great crowd and warm welcoming staff.” @ryanfieldinggarrett

Photo: Courtesy of CC/Flickr/Ju Dadalto

The satellite

Silver Lake’s satellite died twice: first in 2011 when its 15-year run as Spaceland came to an end, and again in 2020 when the pandemic ended its days as a satellite. It was once the epicenter of Silver Lake’s music scene, an intimate place to see locals like Beck and Silversun Pickups, and later a regular haunt for parties like Dance Yourself Clean or Neil Hamburger’s hilarious Hack Stand-up. The venue publicly flirted with going to a restaurant, but that never quite materialized; Instead, his social connections have become a virtual hub for music discovery.

“The Satellite has been a staple of the LA music scene for the last several decades, a legendary trendsetter with the best atmosphere. Whether you were there to see an up and coming band, dance yourselves clean or have a late night drink, it was always a great time.” @JasmineDockstader

Ernie Jr’s Taco House

The Cruz family’s first Ernie’s dates back to the 1940s, although this Eagle Rock outpost came into being a little later. The Grande Burrito Specialists ended their four-decade run in 2014 when the eponymous seventy-year-old owner decided the restaurant had simply become too difficult to run.

“It would be nice to see Ernie Jr. revived as I get a glimmer of hope every time I walk past the sign that says an empty building just asking to be reopened. My family has been going there for dinner and birthdays for decades because of the great food and festive atmosphere, but since the closure we have not found this place to celebrate.” @carlyhalili

Greenblatt's Deli
Photo: Victor LeungPastrami Reuben at Greenblatt’s Deli restaurant

Greenblatt’s Deli

This Jewish deli on Sunset Strip has been a fixture since 1926, when the famous street became a dirt road just a few blocks west. For the past few decades, its 2am hours have been a perfect match for its comedy club neighbor, the Laugh Factory. Unfortunately, the knishes, pastrami sandwiches, and fried chicken dinners stopped when Greenblatt’s closed in 2021.

“Greenblatt’s #5 sandwich was my favorite in town. And I could have it until the early hours.” @jimcomeau

Cha Cha Cha

At this popular Caribbean eatery in Virgil Village, the jerk chicken has been lit and the sangria has been flowing for three decades. The spot closed in 2016, only to see a condo complex in the exact same location co-opted its name and neon sign a few years later.

“Having recently returned to LA after 18 years in New York, I was devastated to learn that Cha Cha Cha had been replaced with a condominium building. This vibrant Caribbean eatery has been a popular destination for decades. While Virgil has plenty of restaurants that draw crowds these days, Cha Cha Cha was effortlessly charming and full of personality. Even though it’s been ages, I still vividly remember the brightly-covered vinyl tablecloths and the taste of the immaculately flavorful and sweet jerk chicken.” @jackiewas

Bar 107
Photo: Courtesy of CC/Flickr/Laurie Avocado

Bar 107

When Bar 107 moved to 4th Street in 2005 (replacing the old gay bar Score), the cheap beer hipster hangout was part of a transformation of the Historic Core dominated by converted lofts and art walks. A decade later, the Dive (known for its “no dance music” policy) was kicked out of its lease at an increasingly expensive DTLA — though nothing has taken the space since.

“Bar 107 was the Pub in LA – entering the red-lit room was an experience in itself. With the massive horse statue that filled the center of the bar and your good old slot beer, it’s hard to live up to those standards these days. My 20s are unforgettable because of Bar 107.” @phaniiechicas

ArcLight cinemas

Reserved stadium seating may be standard in movie theaters today, but there are so many other enviable aspects of the ArcLight that haven’t made the jump to other multiplexes: no commercials and limited trailers, personal introductions, consistently excellent projection quality, 21-plus selection screenings and a ban on speaking, texting or late arrival. The ArcLight has become synonymous with LA bougie-going, particularly at its original Hollywood outpost, which opened in 2002 — aside, of course, for its crown jewel, the Cinerama Dome, a 1963 structure that specialized in pushing the limits of aspect ratios extend. The entire chain closed in 2021, and while a liquor license renewal has announced a reopening for the Hollywood location, that’s unlikely until late 2023 at best.

“The ArcLight was the first theater I went to after arriving in LA and it never disappoints. Not only did it offer the best cinematic experience, but it gave me incredible memories – just like watching it Once upon a time… in Hollywood with Quentin Tarantino sitting a few rows behind me. I miss it!” @atopke

Mh Zh

Though his vegetarian Middle Eastern menu wasn’t exactly uncommon in LA, the total package at his sidewalk spot on Silver Lake was: Mh Zh (pronounced “mah zeh”) managed to put together flavorful, beautifully presented meals at an affordable price and in a casual setting to the Closing in 2020.

“It was a rare find in LA: not pretentious and of such great quality that you didn’t have to worry about having to sit on a milk carton on the sidewalk – all part of its charm!” @damlafgas

The Annenberg Room for Photography
Photo: Courtesy of Annenberg Space for Photography

Annenberg room for photography

The history of hip-hop, the wealth gap, country music icons, the global refugee crisis, portraits of endangered species: the Annenberg Space for Photography has hosted some of the most challenging, rewarding, and beautiful exhibitions of photography we’ve seen in Los Angeles ( not to mention some excellent free concerts in its courtyard). But sadly, the free Century City Museum closed in 2020 after 10 years of operation.

“It was an amazing photography museum with changing exhibitions, each one better than the last! I’ve always had an amazing experience and the gift shop was the best best, perfect for finding cool gifts. I appreciated that it was free and each new series was fascinating and informative, a perfect way to spend an afternoon!” @zalimac

Rockwell table & stage

Home to live music parodies of horror movies and rom-coms, as well as regular jazz nights with Jeff Goldblum, this Los Feliz patio and lounge went permanently dark in 2021.

“I chose Rockwell Table & Stage because the performances and music at every show there were so wonderful. So much talent along with an amazing staff and amazing food and drink. It was the ultimate dinner and show experience, the perfect evening.” @linskiti

Photo: Jacob N. Laymanink.sack


Back before the rest of the world recognized LA as a culinary darling, chef Michael Voltaggio made headlines for preparing all sorts of avant-garde dishes at Ink. But just a few yards away were those vibrant flavors sandwiched at ink.sack, where you could enjoy flavorful tuna or cold fried chicken for a fraction of the price. The space closed in 2018 after seven years, although a fast service booth that shares its name but essentially nothing else exists at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.

“ink.sack holds such a special place in my heart as it was my first meal after moving to LA and signing the lease over eight years ago. It felt so L.A– hip but casual, right on Melrose Place, and a damn good sandwich. And I’m offended that I now have to book an international flight to get my hands on one.” @britt_vanheisch

The bourgeois pig

Covered in ivy on the outside, dimly lit on the inside, this cozy Franklin Village hangout was just as suitable for midday screenwriting sessions as it was for a lazy late-evening pool. After 32 years in operation, the Bourgeois Pig closed earlier in 2022 due to rising rents, but the team behind it is currently raising funds for a future off Franklin Avenue.

“Bourgeois Pig was home to a lot of my college memories: study sessions, coffee shops with friends, nighttime pool, reading bad poetry in the log. It evoked nostalgia in the best possible way; I felt 21 again.” @animosinyan

Leave a Comment